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10 Apr 2022

Full-Time Director of Community Engagement & New Food Forest Construction

Boston Food Forest Coalition – Posted by bostonfoodforest Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Job Description

Reporting to the Associate Director (AD), the Director of Community Engagement & New Food Forest Construction is a full time position that serves as a key leader of Boston Food Forest Coalition (BFFC) and is an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting the organization. This position is directly responsible for all new food forest pipeline development and construction. The successful candidate will help build community relationships across Boston to support neighbors in organizing, designing, and building food forest public parks, thus increasing equitable access to healthy open space across the city. The Director will manage all aspects of food forest construction – from community engagement and design, to food forest fundraising, to food forest design, to managing construction with neighborhood engagement, to strategy and systems development.

The Director will have primary responsibility for creating and implementing the infrastructure and team needed to expand food forest construction, from financially sustainable budgeting, to inclusive team management, to ecologically sustainable food forest construction.

BFFC is in an entrepreneurial stage of learning and growth in a cutting-edge field, with clear priorities centering diversity, equity, and inclusion. This requires all staff to think creatively, collaboratively, and with an action mindset.

Responsibilities

Community Engagement & Food Forest Pipeline Development: 

Prioritizing Boston neighborhoods where there is inequitable access to parkland and its critical benefits, the Director role will manage community engagement, food forest design, and food forest fundraising, including:

  • Food Forest pipeline building – find interested neighbors and land for new food forest public parks, build relationships with neighbors based on their needs and interests, and help neighbors learn about food forests and parkland stewardship. 
  • Food Forest scoping – scope and design prospective food forests with neighbors’ visions and needs at the center, and create associated timelines and budgets for development. 
  • Food Forest fundraising – raise funds for food forest development collaboratively with neighbors, create proposals to fund food forest development (e.g., City of Boston), and meet legal and operational requirements. 
  • Systems building, administration – create systems and tools to effectively engage and manage the above processes (e.g., land transfers, educational materials, etc). 

Manage New Food Forest Creation:

Working shoulder-to-shoulder with neighborhood food forest stewards, the Director will manage construction of new Food Forests, including:

  • Project management – create and manage timelines & budget for on-schedule food forest development (e.g., land transfers, site clean-ups, soil repair, materials sourcing, hardscaping, planting, furnishings, community work days, grand openings).
  • People management – hire and manage an internal food forest building team, and necessary tools and equipment, with inclusive and equity-centered management practices. (fundraising dependent)
  • Subcontractor management – Manage subcontractors to deliver on-time, on-budget work to supplement food forest development (e.g., building benches and tables, architecture design), etc.
  • Relationship management –  create meaningful relationships with neighborhood stewards and funding partners for shoulder-to-shoulder food forest building – proactively keeping all stakeholders involved, informed, and excited.
  • Education integration – partner with the Manager of Education to design and deliver educational workshops and work days that support stewardship team and neighborhood engagement in the food forest building process.
  • Systems building, administration – create systems and tools to effectively engage and manage the above processes (e.g., reporting to funders, timeline and budget management, etc).  

Food Forest Strategy:

  • Create a comprehensive food forest building strategy in partnership with the Associate Director to achieve BFFC’s strategic objectives.
  • Manage research of food forest development – e.g., climate change trends, advances in ecological landscaping design, etc – to position BFFC on the forefront of climate adaptability.
  • Monitor and report regularly on the progress of community engagement and new food forest construction. 
  • Proactively elicit and incorporate feedback from various stakeholders for learning, inclusion, and improvement.
  • Create and present analyses and learnings to board and senior members of the BFFC team.

*This is a new role for Boston Food Forest Coalition, so the right candidate must be willing to take on other responsibilities as this role and the organization evolve.

Qualifications

  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • At least 5 years of professional experience with demonstrated success in community organizing and/or construction management.
  • Tangible experience successfully guiding community design projects and/or multi-stakeholder construction projects from start to end.
  • Ability to create, articulate, and implement an annual food forest construction strategy using an inclusive, multi-stakeholder process.
  • Ability to assess, package, and present food forest construction data and trends for organizational budgeting and decision-making.
  • Track record of successfully managing staff toward goals, supporting individual professional development and team learning, implementing decision rights, and creating a culture where team members feel accepted and respected.
  • Action-oriented with a flexible and adaptable style.
  • Excellent organizational skills and capacity to prioritize and manage time well, with strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to work as a self-starter without oversight, and as a team player who productively engages with others within and outside the organization.
  • Ability and desire to learn and grow in new situations and from mistakes; actively integrates feedback to improve.
  • Experience proactively communicating goals and updates, and eliciting input from various stakeholders.
  • Familiar with using web browsers and Google suite tools (Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets), or similar with willingness to learn Google suite.
  • Valid driver’s license and willingness to acquire and transport construction materials (e.g., woodchips, plants, lumber).
  • Knowledge of Boston’s urban agriculture sector is a plus!
  • Knowledge in the field of permaculture / ecological agriculture / food forest maintenance is a plus!

Benefits*

  • Salary: $72,000
  • Health Insurance
  • 40 days Personal Time Off annually (includes: holidays, sick days, and vacation)
  • Retirement match
  • Professional development stipend
  • Cell phone and laptop stipend
    *BFFC is committed to internal equity for salary and benefits and therefore does not negotiate compensation.

Location

  • This is a Boston, Massachusetts-based position that will require frequent travel between Boston neighborhoods.
  • The position will include a mix of in-person and virtual/remote work, with significant time spent meeting with community members and managing on-site food forest construction, which will include some nights and weekends (e.g., guiding a neighborhood food forest construction day on a Saturday, attending a City budget approval meeting on a Thursday night).
  • BFFC is committed to sustainability and supports staff in taking time off to balance evening and weekend hours.
  • We ask all staff to abide by COVID-19 guidance set by the City of Boston.

About Boston Food Forest Coalition

At the intersection of racial equity and climate resilience, the Boston Food Forest Coalition is a community of neighbors transforming vacant lots into public edible parks placed into permanent community control and ownership. Together, we are building resilience in Boston through more equitable access to healthy green space and greater connection to each other and the natural world. More information about BFFC is available on our website: https://bostonfoodforest.org/

How to Apply

  • Please submit a cover letter detailing your qualifications for this position, along with a resume to: hiring@bostonfoodforest.org
  • The email subject line must read: Your First & Last Name - Director of Community Engagement & New Food Forest Construction.
  • We will begin to review applications on April 11th, 2022 and will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
  • We will review all submissions, identify viable candidates, and contact only those individuals selected to continue in the search process.
Boston Food Forest Coalition is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We actively seek a diverse pool of candidates for this position.

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: Community, community organizing, Education, environment, Food, food justice, Justice, and nonprofit. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.

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